As the election draws near, you can feel the stress. So many people are uncertain. Even more are torn as to what to do. Who to vote for? Just so complicated. Perhaps this why the readings we have today and for the past couple of weeks fall on election years about 12 years apart. And today we are once again told to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. And with all that we are trying to sort out right now this feels like an insurmountable task.
Except love is not something insurmountable. As in all trials or challenges, we need to come back to the basics. We do things by steps, and often exceedingly small steps. You have heard me say that love is an act of will. Yes, love can create emotion but to really love someone it must be an act of will. Again, with all that is happening in our culture today I think we miss the small acts of love.
Faith, for example. I see a new faith in our youth. There is a searching that is happening. Our youth are saying to us that there must be something more to life than just what happens in the secular world. And parents, you have told us for years we need to pray. But what you tell us and what you do are two different things. Now this is not to point blame or condemn anyone, but to say what was done in the past is not working today. Our youth want a relationship with Christ. How we as adults grew up was still very much in a legalistic sense of understanding the faith. Do this, don’t do that. Our culture today is very legalistic. Have our laws changed anything for the common good? In some cases, yes, but as we witness today our laws do not impact all people fairly or justly. Jesus’ law on the other hand, to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, does impact all people.
As the number of priests continue to decline and what appears to be a decline in the faithful in the United States, there is a resurgence in the faith in our youth. When we thought countries such as India or South America would be needed to evangelize North America, our youth are stepping up and they have begun the evangelization process. It is time to give credit due to our youth. They want to see the Church thrive and share the gospel message. They want to grow in that relationship with Christ. Dare I say it, they want to see their parents have that relationship with Christ that they missed out twenty, thirty, or forty years ago. Listen to our children. Listen to God working through them.
The new evangelizers to our world today are our youth. Thank God.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen